Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Taste of Africa

Since my friend Amanda has been home from Africa, she has been craving a dish called banku. Lo and behold, there is an African restaurant in our own Surrey! Who knew. It's actually in Whalley; and not really in a great area, but we went for a little adventure to go try it this evening. It's called A Taste of Africa and it's just a small, not super pretty inside, interesting smelling place. I was a little apprehensive at first, but I am always up for trying new things.

The lady who was there clearly owned the restaurant, and she was very welcoming and her and Amanda ended up talking about Africa. Amanda was in Ghana and Morocco, and the lady was from Ghana! So they chatted for a bit and this lady was so excited that we wanted to eat her food. Amanda ordered her beloved banku, an okra stew served with a bread/dough ball, and I ordered tilapia with rice and plantains. Oh my gosh. I cannot even express how much I love plantains. I should have ordered a to-go order. I could eat them all day. We ate them in the Caribbean last year and I've also had them in Toronto; but have never ordered them in my own city. Delicious. Have you ever eaten them?

Amanda's banku was pretty tasty! You dip the bread into the stew and eat it that way. My fish was actually quite flavorful and yummy! The only thing I was not prepared for was that it came on my plate as the WHOLE fish. I am not used to that at all and was a little weirded out. It came with jollof rice with a hot tomato sauce on it that was amazing, as well as some coleslaw and a few veggies.

I am not sure I would rush back for the food; but if I find myself there again, I would definitely order something different just to try it. There was a spinach stew I was debating between. I was glad that it made Amanda happy to be there and reminesce about her recent trip. Plus, I do enjoy supporting small businesses like that. You could tell that this restaurant is this lady's pride and joy, and she was really sweet. On our way out, I noticed an award on the wall for "African entrepreneur of the year" so that made me feel happy for her. She said she is going to Ghana next summer to visit her family, but will have to shut down the restaurant for the two weeks she is away. I can imagine that would be stressful; having a job that if you aren't there, it simply doesn't function. At all. Anywho, props to her!!

My tilapia dinner

Amanda's banku

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